According to a report, published by researchers from the University of South Florida on March 27, in Scientific Reports, transplantation of human bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) into mice with similar symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) helped more motor neurons survive and slowed disease progression by repairing damage to the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB).
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is a neurodegenerative condition that involves the breakdown of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brain. Patients with ALS may experience weakness in their limbs followed by a quick and progressive paralysis that leads to total paralysis, respiratory failure and death. Each day, an average of 15 Americans, are diagnosed with the disease, according to the ALS Association.
Damage to the barrier between the central nervous system and the blood circulatory system is a key factor in the development of ALS. The incorrect function of this protective wall, allows immune cells, inflammatory cells, and other potentially harmful substances reach the brain and spinal cord. There are several biochemical events leading to ALS, including alterations of endothelial cells near damaged spinal cord motor neurons.
Human bone marrow-derived stem cells improved nervous system conditions and motor functions in symptomatic ALS mice by advancing barrier repair. Human bone-marrow derived EPCs were administered intravenously to ALS mice and four weeks after transplant, results were compared against untreated mice.
The ALS mice receiving stem cell treatment, demonstrated significantly improved motor function, slower disease progression, and increased motor neuron survival, than the untreated symptomatic mice.
The study suggests that these benefits, leading to blood-spinal cord barrier repair, may respond to the attachment of stem cells to capillaries in the spinal cord. Researchers point to evidence of re-establishment of structural support cells, less capillary leakage, and substantially restored capillaries.
Further research is needed to clearly define the mechanisms of EPC barrier repair. But the initiation of cell treatment at the symptomatic disease stage offered robust restoration of stem cell integrity, and shows promise as a future clinical therapy for ALS.
Stem cells have the ability to divide, for indefinite periods in culture, and give rise to multiple specialized cell types. They can develop into blood, neurons, bone, muscle, skin and other cell types. They have emerged as a major tool for research into the causes of ALS, and in the search of new treatments. Specialists in the field of regenerative medicine are currently using stem cells to treat other neurodegenerative diseases like, Alzheimer´s disease, Parkinson´s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
The Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica, uses government approved umbilical cord stem cell therapy to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The Stem Cells Transplant Institute provides the highest level of care using the most advanced technology, so every patient can experience this life-changing therapies. Contact us